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Author: Subject: Baja Contractor Prices: Fair Daily/Weekly Rates
cobra
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[*] posted on 3-26-2016 at 03:56 AM
contractor


In Mulege, chivato lupe is a very good, honest contractor. built my house and others in the area. very honest and finishes the work
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mtgoat666
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[*] posted on 3-26-2016 at 07:17 AM


Quote: Originally posted by durrelllrobert  
In case you need to negotiate with a spanish only speaking buider here are some common building terms you may want to know:

http://rollybrook.com/building-materails.htm

Also note that I used the term BUILDER and not CONTRACTOR. Anyone in Baja (and maybe all of MX) can call themself a contractor because there is no liscensing requirementlike in the US (also no completion bonding or insurance requirements)


Perhaps more useful would be a link to English version of a building code, if such thing exists
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DENNIS
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[*] posted on 3-26-2016 at 07:20 AM



"We don' need no steenkin building code"




"YOU CAN'T LITTER ALUMINUM"
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mtgoat666
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[*] posted on 3-26-2016 at 07:23 AM


Quote: Originally posted by DENNIS  

"We don' need no steenkin building code"


From what I have seen in Mexico, I think your do!

Some people say govt is bad. I think building code enforcement and consumer protection enforcement in is a good example of the positive benefits of government.

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David K
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[*] posted on 3-26-2016 at 09:12 AM


A couple of books that may help you relate to the "issues" of building a home in Baja, but with happy results:








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BigBearRider
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[*] posted on 3-26-2016 at 09:22 AM


I read God and Mr Gomez. It's a great book. Very entertaining. Oddly enough, I read it while remodeling our Baja house. Strangely, I never reflected on the coincidence before. Our remodel was absolutely painless even though I was 700 miles away most of the time. Never had a single concern, and I'm thrilled with the outcome.
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[*] posted on 3-27-2016 at 06:11 AM


From our experiences, I believe itís VERY important to be on the building site as much as possible, if not ALWAYS. Quite often the architectural plans arenít as explanatory as the owner may anticipate. Often the details will be interpreted differently by the contractor or builder than the owner had hoped. We had very detailed plans and still spent a lot of time explaining to the builder how we wanted it to look when finished. Also, we found that quite a few of the details looked great on paper, but when they started to go up, not so much. If you catch it early, it's fixable. Windows are another thing that may change when you see them in real life. We actually changed the height and location of several windows to have better views, or more privacy. We couldnít have done that if we werenít on site at the time. Another thing to remember, changes are expensive! Iíd add at least 10% or more to the cost of the project for minor changes. If your not going to be on side add at least 15% to fix the things that weren't done how you had hoped

I believe itís best to avoid paying by the hour if you can. Of course it canít be avoided in some aspects of the job, especially as mentioned earlier; things like tractor work, electrical and plumbing. For all or our masonry, the job was bid by the square meter. XX pesos per square meter of block, plaster, stucco, tile, floor, roof, etc. Paying by the square meter is MUCH easier to track and there is a better understanding by both the owner and the builder about whatís expected for a certain price.

Itís also a good idea go get a couple of bids to get a feel for the final cost of the project. We got three bids, each bid was within several thousand dollars of each other, so we felt confident we werenít diving into something where we had no clear idea of the final cost.

As far as paying the workers, once we accepted the bid we asked the builder how long it would take to finish the project. We worked out a deal where we divided the labor bid by the estimated completion time and paid bi-weekly. As the project moved along, we re-evaluated the estimated completion date and would have adjusted the bi-weekly pay down if it looked like the project was going to take longer, but the builder was spot on. The last day of the project was the day we hit the final payment. We hired an accountant to handle the Social Security payments. That was way too difficult to do ourselves.

The builder didnít have any local contacts to order supplies, so we worked out a deal with another builder (that didnít have time to work on our project) to procure supplies for us. We paid him a percentage to place the orders and find the best prices for materials. That worked out well.

Also this is VERY important: The builders are terrible at anticipating what they need to keep the job moving. Quite often they would notify me at the end of the day that they needed some quantity of something the next morning so they could keep working, of course everything stopped until I could get whatever it was. I finally started keeping a ledger of what we had on hand and made the builder give me a list of what he would need for the next couple of weeks or month to keep the job moving.

Be very picky about who does your tile. Our mason was great at laying tile, but horrible at planning the layout. We had a friend who does tile figure out the layout for him so we didn't have any little Ĺ" pizza shaped tiles at the edges.
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[*] posted on 3-27-2016 at 07:11 AM


[rquote=1028131&tid=82542&author=Bajaboy
Take all advice with a grain of salt. We have not had any of the issues mentioned above.

But we pay fairly, treat our workers with respect, and have created lasting friendships with them.

I would suggest that you ask around town for some referrals.

[Edited on 3-23-2016 by Bajaboy][/rquote]

What Zac says.
A few years ago my gringo neighbors came over and I experienced my one and only "intervention" -- "stop hiring Senior XX or else". They gave me a few options which I followed and camp returned to it's usual alcoholic ambience.

One thing to be aware of, once you hire the same individual a few times, you become their property (this happens NOB as well). Let them turn down or suggest someone else to do a task or trade. I have also noticed that certain areas are considered to be the territory of contractor X and if another contractor goes into it, there can be hell to pay.

Long Legs in LaPaz, who no longer posts here, I think has a blog regarding her experiences building houses - worth reading if only for the entertainment value.



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[*] posted on 3-27-2016 at 07:15 AM


Use someone with a track record of completed projects and happy clients, don't just hire the guy with the lowest bid. Often a contractor will low ball the bid to get the job, knowing that they will not be able to complete the project at that price, they will come to you half way through and ask for more money and you will pay it because they will have you over a barrel. Many times the lowest bidder will end up being the most expensive in the end.



"The future ain't what it used to be"
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[*] posted on 3-27-2016 at 08:23 AM


In Mulege I have had a little experience with large and small projects. Yes I live on the river and all 5 floods have done major damage to my property. There are two contractors that I recommend. Enrique Rosa or Sergio Santos. Every time I have received written bids and timelines. All 5 times they have finished the jobs on time and with in the bids. they always have received progress payments and never a sad story needing money ahead. After the first two I got where I did not hang around I just let them do their jobs. Both of them keep the jobsite clean and try not to upset your neighbors. Both speak english and are very good with working with Insurance adjusters. Both of them because of their reputation stay busy so grab the one that has time to do your job.
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[*] posted on 3-27-2016 at 12:44 PM


Don't know where or what kind of project you are doing but we have a couple of contractors we have used for several years in Mulege..
If you don't get what you think will work u2u me and I will send you their phone numbers..
One of them built the 2 alamo looking houses in the Orchard.. very well built and has a good crew..
Good luck....




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bajasusan/a
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[*] posted on 3-29-2016 at 07:21 AM


Quote: Originally posted by DianaT  
Quote: Originally posted by Bajaboy  
Quote: Originally posted by 4x4abc  
no matter what, you will pay too much

don't expect work quality at any price

quoted price will at least have tripled by the time the job is done

never pay too much in advance (many are so poor, they need the advance)

keep them hungry, otherwise they might not come back one day

keep a close eye on you possessions - they tend to disappear

non Mexican contractors are the worst

I have had good (in Mexican terms) experiences lately with a local contractor (El Centenario)

If you want quality and reasonable prices, hire a team from mainland Mexico (that's how all the commercial buildings are done)


Wow, I agree with Zach. We only had a problem with one worker who was actually doing work for the person we hired and he did not want to work for him. On his own, he was great.

We knew several that we could pay in advance with no problem, and we always paid for materials in advance. We also always fed our workers their lunch, drinks, and after work, often cerveza. And yes several became good friends.

Maybe it is the small town thing, but we never had a problem with losing anything, and if anything, most did not want to charge enough. So we would "tip" them when the work was done. When they did not want to take the tip, we always said it was for the children. But then we would always end up with gifts of fish, lobster, abalone stuff, etc.

Attitude I believe has a lot to do with it. Even in the small town, people we knew who treated the workers poorly, ended up with less work. And there one who would hire workers for a job and then increase the job while work was being done and not increase the pay, and then complain that those workers did not want to work for them anymore.

Oh, we had one worker about whom we were warned about by locals and he could not be trusted. And while we loaned money to others who needed it, he asked only once because he didn't pay it back. It was worth the 200 pesos to keep him away.

Probably different in the big cities. And the going rate for work does seem to be different in different places.
[Edited on 3-23-2016 by DianaT]


THANK YOU FOR THIS REPLY, and to MISSADVENTURING (great moniker) there really is no way except experience and asking locals you trust to find a fair price, because most business relationships here are also personal relationships, and circumstances town to town are so different, as mentioned. If one's attitude is along the racist lines of "you people are scum trying to rip me off" one might be better off living in the USA, if only for the company of like-minded bigots, of whom there is an endless supply.





[Edited on 3-29-2016 by bajasusan/a]
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durrelllrobert
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[*] posted on 3-29-2016 at 10:07 AM


Quote: Originally posted by DENNIS  

"We don' need no steenkin building code"


ŅCůdigo? Si construcciůn y se cae es culpa suya.




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[*] posted on 3-30-2016 at 11:58 AM


I pay 60p/hr. in Mulege for totally honest and hard working people. They have the full run of my residence and my tools. I have never lost so much a a busted screwdriver.

We tend to hang around nearby during the initial stages of a project as my language skills are hilarious. Fortunately Barbaraís are much better. Misunderstandings can be an issue anywhere.

I bring down inexpensive power tools from Harbor Freight and often give them to the workers at the end of the season. A $20 angle grinder is much appreciated by a person making $3.50/hr.

These labor rates I can seldom justify grabbing a hammer unless for personal gratification.

It helps to be a part of your community. In fact, why would I come down here without that being one of my goals? These are great people.
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[*] posted on 8-29-2016 at 11:02 AM
Building nightmares and Mexican thieves.


You need to examine the work as it is done. The plumber on my project didn't use plumbing tape so all joints eventually leaked requiring ripping out of drywall. The electrical was loosey goosey and not all the fixtures worked. Get in writing the scope of the work. When my house was ready to paint the contractor said it wasn't part of the deal. Even though cabinets and sinks were part of the plans when it came time to install the contractor said it wasn't his cost and I had to provide the products even though he gave me a cost that was to include everything. The solar system I had installed was not done correctly. The battery heat monitors weren't installed and after a wicked heat spell $1000 worth of batteries were ruined. If you find a solar contractor Jose Banuelos kick him in the nuts for me and then run. He has been on the lam after burning a persons house down in Ensenada. But that was all yesterday. Today, 2 weeks ago, somebody let a thief into the compound to steal the entire solar system, panels, inverter, charge controller and shot batteries after smashing a sliding glass door. Not to scare you off but there a many fine people in Mexico but there is a reason everything falls apart and your house will be broken into eventually. Count on it.
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durrelllrobert
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[*] posted on 8-30-2016 at 02:36 PM


Quote: Originally posted by missadventuring  
Thanks for the insights!


do you have a sister named misscarriage? maybe someone I've been looking for.

[Edited on 8-30-2016 by durrelllrobert]




Bob Durrell
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durrelllrobert
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[*] posted on 8-30-2016 at 02:45 PM
Here's a few useful Mexican building terms


..if you don't speak spanish:

www.mexconnect.com/.../2629-spanish-terms-for-building-and-construc...




Bob Durrell
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[*] posted on 8-30-2016 at 02:51 PM


Was that house on a hillside in El Sauzal??


Quote: Originally posted by baconjr  
The solar system I had installed was not done correctly. The battery heat monitors weren't installed and after a wicked heat spell $1000 worth of batteries were ruined. If you find a solar contractor Jose Banuelos kick him in the nuts for me and then run. He has been on the lam after burning a persons house down in Ensenada.
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[*] posted on 9-2-2016 at 10:27 AM


Quote: Originally posted by bajaguy  
Was that house on a hillside in El Sauzal??


Quote: Originally posted by baconjr  
The solar system I had installed was not done correctly. The battery heat monitors weren't installed and after a wicked heat spell $1000 worth of batteries were ruined. If you find a solar contractor Jose Banuelos kick him in the nuts for me and then run. He has been on the lam after burning a persons house down in Ensenada.


My house is by Santo Tomas. I got the info about Jose from another solar installer from Ensenada near El Sauzal. He left town owing me money. He has a green card and has spent time in Arizona.
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[*] posted on 9-2-2016 at 07:15 PM


I had my house in Mulege build by a local *known* contractor, all steel beams, supervised by an American builder, oh well do I have to say more......
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